Source: Contributed from the personal collection of James F.
The Leader-Herald, Wed., September 21, 1955
An interesting story of the development of transportation in
Fulton County during the past century was related to the Y-BICs at their regular
noon luncheon meeting yesterday in the YWCA. The speaker was Robert
Bedford of the Johnstown Kiwanis Club, who illustrated the talk with slides.
Bedford began his account with a description of the first
organized stage route from Johnstown to Fonda's Bush (Broadalbin) in 1815,
stating that in 1832 mail was carried twice a week by Asa Tiffany on an old
By 1839, he stated stage lines ran regularly eastward to
Broadalbin and Westward to St. Johnsville. At this time the roads were
deplorable, made difficult by snow and ice in winter, mud and dust in spring and
summer. So in 1849 a plank road was built between Johnstown and Fonda
which was used until 1905.
Railroad Cost $45,000
In the fall of 1873, the continued the Johnstown,
Gloversville & Kingsboro Railroad was organized, and was built in 1875 at a
cost of $45,000. Horsedrawn care [sic] were operated over this road and
replaced by sleighs in winter.
The road was four miles and seventeen feet in length, there
were six passenger cars and sixteen horses. 92,000 passengers made
made the forty minute trip paying fifteen cent fare.
The feed bill for the horses was $1800, shoeing horses $171,
and drivers were paid $1.25 a day for a fifteen-hour day. The holsters
received $1.50 per day for a sixteen-hour day. There was also an open
horse car to use on warm summer days.
The Fonda - Fultonville Horse Railroad opened in 1875,
Bedford said. It was one mile long and one passenger car was
maintained. Five years later 18,000 passengers were carried on this road
and were charged five cents for the fifteen-minute trip.
In 1893, he said grading was started for the first trolley
line. At that time there were no bulldozers or power excavators, only
picks, shovels, and muscles. The first trip was made June 29, 1893 by car
Bedford said that no account would be complete without
mention of the Mountain Lake Wreck which happened July 4, 1902. This
railroad was later sold to the FJ&G RR Co. and was abandoned in 1918 and
The first trolley trip to Amsterdam, he told the group, was
made Dec. 20, 1902. The Schenectady line was discontinued June 28, 1938,
almost thirty-five years to a day after the line opened. The handsome
limited cars used on this line were shipped west and this year are being
The Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad Co., Bedford
said, was organized in 1867, and work started on the steam road in September of
that year. Locomotive No. 1 was the first to operate over the ten-mile
span between Gloversville and Fonda, on Nov. 29, 1870.
In 1880 the company took over the recently built Northville
railroad, 6.8 miles, and owned three locomotives, four passenger cars, and
In 1891 it purchased thirty-five acres of land and made it
into a summer resort (Sacandaga Park) built the Adirondack Inn at a cost of
$20,000, the golf course, roller coaster, water toboggan, Rustic theater, and
large picnic grounds.
Bedford showed the last train out of Northville, when the
water reservoir had risen two feet over the tracks and the train was plowing
through the water. Then he showed the first bus to Northville.
He illustrated his entire talk with slides showing the old
horse car, the various types of trolley cars, grading work, the Mt. Lake wreck,
a car on a trestle, the powerhouse first at Johnstown and later at Tribes Hill,
the 1909 ice storm, the Cayadutta Park wreck, the Amsterdam runaway in early
1900's and the later wreck, 1926.
He also showed grading for steam road, Locomotive No. 1,
scenes at Sacandaga Park in the early 1900's, the Booth & Co. wreck on July
4, 1904, and the old stations along the steam line: Northville, Sacandaga,
Cranberry Creek, Mayfield, Johnstown, Sammonsville and the beautiful little
Broadalbin one when it had a colonade, and other pictures which totaled fifty in
A report was made of tickets sold for the Y-BIC card party,
which will be held at he YWCA the evening of Sept. 27. An added feature
will be a style show.
At next Tuesday's noon luncheon, Miss Maxine Smith of
Johnstown will tell of her recent trip to Nova Scotia and Lake Louise and show
slides to illustrate.